Lifesaving cards available free of charge to public

Short Hills, NJ (October 26, 2011) -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center has created wallet-sized Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) cards, available to the public free of charge. These cards have been produced in collaboration with the medical personnel at the International Spinal Cord Injury Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) to educate and empower individuals living with paralysis, as well as their caregivers and medical professionals. What makes these cards unique is that an individual's baseline blood pressure can be recorded on the card, along with providing clinical treatment criteria for emergency personnel to promptly and appropriately treat the AD.

Autonomic Dysreflexia is a sudden increase in blood pressure, resulting from harmful, painful or injurious stimuli applied below neurologic levels in persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI). If left untreated, it can lead to stroke, seizures, or even death.

Available in pediatric and adult versions in print, and also in Spanish online, the card is the first of its kind that allows individuals to fill in their personal health information including medical history and emergency contacts. The cards also include a description of AD, common causes, signs and symptoms, as well as suggestions for what to do when one is faced with the symptoms of AD. For first responders, school nurses and physicians, the card provides treatment recommendations. No other pediatric-focused cards exist.

"These unique cards are just one way we are striving to promote improved health for individuals living with paralysis," said Peter T. Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. "Autonomic Dysreflexia can lead to severe health complications; however its significance is not widely understood within the medical community. AD is an emergency situation that can easily be treated and resolved when quickly recognized. Therefore we hope these cards will help educate both patients and physicians and ultimately, save lives."

In addition to the Autonomic Dysreflexia cards, the PRC offers hundreds of free resources, including its nationally recognized Paralysis Resource Guide, spasticity brochure, and state resources.

The cards are available by calling 800-539-7309 or they can be downloaded at ChristopherReeve.org/ADcard.